In the United States Air Force, shoulder boards are reserved for wear by Officers on the Men’s and Women’s Mess Dress and Formal Dress uniforms. During the 1990s, shoulder boards were also worn by Officers with the White or Blue Ceremonial Dress uniforms, but by August 1994 both of these had been phased out. Colonel shoulder boards are worn so that the eagle is facing forward (this is true of the insignia in all U.S. military branches).

Shoulder boards feature a lower hinged flap; simply open the flap, slide it through the shoulder loops on the Mess Dress coat, then use the snap-button to secure it when it is properly positioned. Air Force uniform regulations call for the shoulder boards to be placed so that the rank insignia is as close to the coat’s shoulder seam as possible.

Customers purchasing U.S. Air Force Colonel shoulder boards for a new Mess Dress coat may also be interested in adding the 1/2 inch-wide silver sleeve braid to their shopping carts since the braid does not automatically come with the coat. Those purchasing new Mess Dress coats will have the option to use our braid-sewing (which also include hemming the sleeves) and loop-sewing services so their coats will arrive ready to wear.

About us

As a certified manufacturer of uniforms and insignia, The Salute Uniforms considers it a privilege to provide the members of our nation’s military services with superior-quality apparel and accoutrements. We guarantee that every product we offer is made in the USA and meets or surpasses Mil-Spec standards. Browse our online catalog and discover how our tradition of excellence and commitment to innovation makes us your best source for military uniforms, insignias, medals, and accessories.


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Salute Industries Inc, proud maker of The Salute Uniforms.
105 Apache Drive, Archdale, NC, 27263.